2022 AFL Draft Review: GWS
GREATER Western Sydney (GWS) wielded the first pick in rounds one and two of the 2022 AFL Draft, and was one of the busier clubs throughout the three days of player intake. We recap how the Giants fared and analyse what each new player may offer at the top level.
#1 Aaron Cadman (Key Forward, GWV Rebels/Vic Country)
#16 Harry Rowston (Midfielder, Calder Cannons/GIANTS Academy/NSW-ACT)
#21 Darcy Jones (Midfielder, Swan Districts/Western Australia)
#22 Max Gruzewski (Tall Defender/Forward, Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
#34 Toby McMullin (Forward/Midfielder, Sandringham Dragons/Vic Country)
Pre-listed – Jason Gillbee (Tall Utility, Bendigo Pioneers/NSW-ACT)
Pre-listed – Nicholas Madden (Ruck, GIANTS Academy/NSW-ACT)
#3 Phil Davis (re-listed)
The worst kept secret in the AFL of late was that GWS would take Aaron Cadman with pick one, opting against a bid on Brisbane father-son Will Ashcroft. Having traded up for the first selection, the Giants nabbed the leading key forward and have gifted him his favoured number five jersey. With athleticism, strong hands and a booming left foot, Cadman has drawn comparisons to Jeremy Cameron.
Though it happened earlier than perhaps they would have liked, the Giants next matched a bid on academy graduate Harry Rowston. Sydney rated the hard-nosed midfielder highly, valuing his toughness and work ethic enough to bid at a steep price of pick 16. GWS wasn’t going to let him slip, but had a first round pick wiped out as a result.
It also meant Sydney was able to nab Jacob Konstanty at pick 20, though the Giants acquired the man they saw as the best small in the draft to round out night one, in Darcy Jones. The Swan Districts pocket rocket cracked all three WAFL grades this year and loves to take the game on, proving tenacious in his work on both sides of midfield or forward of centre.
Having let the dust settle on round one, GWS elected to hold onto the first pick of round two and went tall with the selection of Max Gruzewski. A more long-term prospect than Cadman, he offers swingman capabilities and has an exciting aerial game. Rounding out their National Draft haul, the Giants called out Toby McMullin‘s name at pick 34 to cap off a diverse haul of five fresh faces.
They weren’t done with the young talent though, and had access to a couple more in the Rookie Draft. Hard running utility Jason Gillbee snuck through the National Draft to be taken as a NSW zone candidate, while academy product Nick Madden was added to the Category B list as a physically imposing ruck option. The Giants also re-listed Phil Davis for one last season.